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Rubber Tires on hard plastic

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  • Rubber Tires on hard plastic

    The subject of rubber tires melting into hard plastic was covered extremely well long ago on the old MCCH. Before it went offline I thought I copied the pertinent info to Swifty's Garage, but that was years ago.

    I am not a chemical student, so I am repeating from memory. There is a chemical added to the *real rider* style soft rubber tires that makes them soft. There are times when that chemical leaches out and interacts with other plastics, particularly hard, clear plastics. I have an example where the rims melted from the reaction with the tires, and other examples of the same model/issue/variant with no problem at all, suggesting the chemical mix can vary.

    I keep my display models on glass shelves (old jalousie window panes work great), and I wrap my loose models stored in jammers, etc., in cheap sandwich bags and have not had any issues for over 10 years. I haven't seen any issues with jammers, but that isn't to say it can't happen. None of this will stop the leaching into the rims with rr type tires, and cost / value / high end makes no difference either, the MCCH post showed examples from high end makers still packaged with ruined rims. I'm not sure if liberating the models so they can "air out" will help any. I don't recommend painting shelves, and wood shelves are only marginally better...I've had models sit on stained and raw wood shelves leave puddles of residue where the wheels sat.

    Interestingly, I have not personally seen any problems with the old 80s era Hot Wheels, but I have seen problems with just about every other maker up to and including newer premium level Hot Wheels until AW/M2/GL, which isn't to say there can't be problems with those makers but I haven't personally seen any to this point. Having the tires melt into the stand they are on is concerning, but worse is having the rims warp and distort to the point of being useless, leaving blobs of gooey plastic barbells on the ends of the axles wrapped with rubber bands.

    I want to believe makers are aware of this and have improved the process, the problem doesn't seem to be as common as it used to be. It can also take time, years, to become apparent. None of this is to say this problem isn't something to watch for on your models, especially if you paid a premium price. Keep an eye on your models with soft "rubber" tires.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Ninuxx:

    Several brands/models are known on which the plasticizer of the rubber tyres react with the rims ...MB KingSize from the 1960s, Solido from the 1970s, Siku from the 70s ...also some newer Tomica TLV are reported to have those issues.

    Here, the plasticizer reacts with the case instead of the rim - but the problem is the same: As long as nobody knows whats in the rubber (and whats in the case / the rims), chemistry makes everything possible.

    Some Hot Wheels gift sets are known where the rubber band (fixing an opening part or accessories) reacts with the paint. After removing the rubber band, the paint is gone and pure zamac shows up.

    So, it will be always be some kind of jeopardy or trial & error what is working, what works not (or good).


    • #3
      Here's an example of the tire reacting with the rim. Check the deformed front wheel of this Renault:

      The rear wheel is also affected but not as bad.

      Another example on this Fiat:

      The rear wheel is quite deformed.


      • #4
        Unfortunately, seeing this now on a lot of the Kingsize (K-6) Matchbox Mercedes-Benz "Binz" ambulances.

        Click image for larger version  Name:	s-l1600.jpg Views:	5 Size:	264.6 KB ID:	2894
        Last edited by atombaum; 09-28-2019, 12:18 PM.
        - Jeff
        Supreme Miniature Vehicle Storage Solutions Architect


        • #5
          This was a common problem with Racing Champions NASCAR releases in the mid-1990s. Some cars came resting on top of a plastic base inside a blister pack. It used to be very common to find indentations in the base from where the rubber tire material had reacted with it.